sub·​cor·​ti·​cal ˌsəb-ˈkȯr-ti-kəl How to pronounce subcortical (audio)
: of, relating to, involving, or being a part of the brain below the cerebral cortex
subcortical lesions

Examples of subcortical in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In subcortical areas, there also appears to be a supercluster of cells called splatter neurons that control innate behaviors and physiological functions. Popular Science, 12 Oct. 2023 For von Economo, these clinicopathologic findings confirmed the existence of a subcortical sleep-regulating center. Neuroskeptic, Discover Magazine, 15 Apr. 2018 Grundy and his team have developed something called the bilingual anterior to posterior and subcortical shift model. Avery Hurt, Discover Magazine, 5 May 2021 There were also no significant volumetric differences between groups in any of the subcortical areas. Neuroskeptic, Discover Magazine, 25 Oct. 2014 Herbet et al say that Disrupting the subcortical connectivity of the left posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) reliably induced a breakdown in conscious experience. Neuroskeptic, Discover Magazine, 23 Feb. 2014 Most of these studies have focused on the outer part of the brain, known as the cortex, although some have included subcortical regions as well. John M. Beggs, Quanta Magazine, 31 Jan. 2023 Two motor pathways control facial movement: a subcortical extrapyramidal motor system drives spontaneous facial expressions of felt emotions, and a cortical pyramidal motor system controls voluntary facial expressions. Seriously Science, Discover Magazine, 24 Mar. 2017 This network covered various frontal, higher-order parietal and subcortical regions, mainly precuneus, angular gyrus, cingulate gyrus and frontal pole with right hemispheric lateralization bias. Neuroskeptic, Discover Magazine, 13 Feb. 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'subcortical.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1899, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of subcortical was in 1899

Dictionary Entries Near subcortical

Cite this Entry

“Subcortical.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition


sub·​cor·​ti·​cal -ˈkȯrt-i-kəl How to pronounce subcortical (audio)
: of, relating to, involving, or being nerve centers below the cerebral cortex
subcortical lesions
subcortical sensation
subcortically adverb
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